Today, when an employee gets injured at work, they are covered by workers’ compensation benefits which generally include payments for lost wages and medical bills. Workers’ compensation insurance program kicks in irrespective of who was at fault for the injury while at work. However, in order to receive workers’ compensation, you also agree to not to sue or file a lawsuit against your employer for any damages.
For the most part, the workers’ compensation program has been of enormous benefit for both employees and the employer. However, there are some instances where an employee is not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. A workers’ comp lawyer in Florida can help you determine if you’re eligible.
Here are four common reasons why you may not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits:
- Employer enrollment: In order to get workers’ compensation following an injury at work, the employer must be enrolled in the program. In fact, it is mandatory in every state that when there are more than 2-4 full-time workers, the employer must enroll in the program. Unfortunately, sometimes the employer may cut corners and not pay the premiums or may falsely claim that they enrolled in the program, when in fact they are not. Thus, if you are an employee and get injured, and your employer does not offer workers’ compensation, you may not receive the complete benefits. However, you can sue the employer for your injuries. Talk to a workers’ comp lawyer in Florida for more information in this regard.
- Employee Eligibility: Not all employees are entitled to workers’ compensation when they get injured at work. Employees who freelance, work part-time, function as consultants or are telecommuters are usually not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you drive for Uber or Lyft, you should read your contract; these companies consider you a freelancer and not a full-time employee. Therefore, if you get into an accident, you are on your own. In addition, worker’s compensation benefits are not given to domestic workers, caregivers, farm workers usually in small farms, loaned employees, seasonal workers, undocumented workers or those having illegal status in the US. If you are a student and decide to volunteer at a hospital or a factory, you are not entitled to workers’ compensation if you get injured. Only a few states offer volunteer firefighters workers’ compensation benefits.
- Type of Injury at work: To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, the injury must be work-related. For example, if you are out at lunch and slip on a wet floor at a nearby restaurant, you are not eligible for the benefits. The injury has to be work related like suffering inhalation injury after working with hazardous chemicals or developing carpal tunnel syndrome while typing every day. Also, keep in mind that if an injury occurs at the workplace that has nothing to do with your job or the assigned tasks, you cannot justify that as a workplace injury. It is true that in Florida, you don’t have to prove fault but the injury has to be related to the work and/or to the workplace.
- Meeting the reporting deadline: When you get injured at work, you have to follow the workers’ compensation filing guidelines. There are deadlines for reporting the injury to the manager, and in turn, the manager has to file the case with the agency within a certain time. If you are late even by a few hours, you may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
It is thus important that when you start a new job, you take some time out and read the guidelines on eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits or speak to a workers’ comp lawyer in Florida for more information or if you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Florida
If you believe that you were denied workers’ compensation benefits unfairly, you can contact a workers’ comp lawyer in Florida to help you get the compensation you deserve. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Burnetti, P.A. are here to assist you so that you are able to get the compensation you deserve.
Your workers’ comp lawyer in Florida is aware of the strategies that can be used against employers who try to deny you your rights. Contact us today, and we will make sure you get the support you need during this difficult and challenging time